I'm a Civil Engineer - How can I learn about ISO 9000?

ISO 9000

I'm civil engineer and i want to start with ISO 9000 where and how i can lear about it without going to consultants? where to start?
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This site is a good place to start. Read all the topics to sort of get a feel for real problems. You can also enter ISO in your search engine and shop around. The ISO Man is a good source for "indoctrination". Good Luck

Jim Triller

Try to meet with people in your area that have the experience of implementing and/or administering ISO registered systems. Learn from them what to do and not do.

There is a database of registered companies on the web at: http://www.qualitydigest.com/ and you can also contact the local chapter of ASQ (http://www.asq.org/) to find people who are experienced with ISO.

Greg Mack

I always tend to think that Consultants are the easy way out, and they only leave you with the mess they left anyway which gives the whole thing a bad name! (That of which we are still feeling the effects of thanks to the consultants of the 80's and early 90's!)

My thoughts are that ISO is pretty much common sense business practices. It is all about increasing controls and disciplines and reducing risks to the business.

If you read through it, you could easily see where your business practices fit in.

First of all document what you do, then fill in the gaps where you need to comply. I'm sure you will find that you are doing most of what is required anyway with a few tighter controls to add.

I'd be interested to know how you decide to go about it.


Fully vaccinated are you?
Staff member
It all sounds so easy. We'll just do it our selves. And you can. And you can learn to play the guitar yourself. Some people use, and profit from, the experience of others. We consultants are the 'other' experience. Some people do not have the experience and/or background to understand what ISO 9001 is all about. Some have absolutely no quality background and don't even understand problem solving, much less corrective action systems, or MSA or a host of other issues raised. Sometimes its a time or coordination issue.

If your experience has been that consultants have left a mess to clean up you apparently chose your consultant poorly, managed the consultant poorly, and did not know what you wanted from the consultant. For all the blame on consultants, complainers always fail to account for their serious failures - Blame it on the consultant. You see, my experience has been consultants commonly get the blame for management failures.

And admit it - if ISO is just so much common sense that you can just read through it and it all makes perfect sense and it all fits together easily, what are you doing here in the forums?

Bottom line is the right consultant can save a company a lot more than their fee in saved time and expenses.

I used this clipping the other day in a thread, but I'll use it again here:

--> Subject: Results?
--> Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 16:29:21 -0500
--> From: XXXX
--> To: marc
--> Well, as you anticipated, we "passed" with relatively few problems.
--> Once again, thanks for the
--> help. You're advice was extremely important. Especially important,
--> at least in my opinion, was your help in determining where we did
--> not need to document every last thing (by using training, etc.). I
--> think that without this input, we would have spent a lot more time
--> writing things that we did not need and wasted a lot of peoples'
--> time. We were able to get the audit done in a year while we are
--> achieving record sales and profits. Who can argue with that?

And I'll add this one:

--> Subject: It's over!
--> Date: Fri., 23 Apr 1999 6:38:03 -0500
--> From: XXXX
--> To: marc
--> Your assessment of us as being ready was on the mark. As I discussed
--> various items with the auditor, I made mention where your input was
--> used to develop our procedures. In all cases, he agreed with your
--> interpretations and made the comment that he felt that the money we
--> paid for you appeared to be well spent. Thanks!

I especially like where the auditor said that he felt that the money the company paid for me "...appeared to be well spent..." They, like every other client I have had, were 1st audit successful. My most recent client sent me a very nice 'trophy' and letter with their thanks. See elsmar.com/pdf_files/FWSC/

Yes - consultants can and do help. You may not like us, but most of us are not thieves and /or incompetent.

This reply is not to flame - only to inform.

Dan Larsen

I'm with you on this one, Marc! (And not just because I'm "one of the wolves"!)

I've seen many systems that were self developed but so overwhelming that they weren't effective. And (in prior lives) I was on the other side of the desk, dealing with the consultant...some very good and extremely helpful, some not. When I could sense they were setting me up for "maintenence", I got upset.

I deal with small companies that have limited resources and little clue of where to start. They need coaching and direction in developing a system that works for them rather than against them. They need help putting in a system that gives them "bang for the buck".

We're not all bad. But now I know how lawyers probably feel (well, maybe...)

Dan Larsen

But now, to answer TG...

Read the standard, buy a few books (check out ASQ Quality Press), maybe attend a couple one day conferences.

Find other companies in your area that are already registered (preferably ones in the same type of business).

Read through the threads in some of the quality forums and discussion groups on line.

Collect the information, then make a qualified decision as to whether you feel you can do it on your own or need some help.

I think a lot depends on the timetable you want to hold. Doing it on your own is possible, but will probably take quite a bit longer.

Greg Mack

Hi Marc,

Just to clear up a couple of things.

Firstly, I do agree that consultants are not all bad. But here in Australia, there are many (not all) that have given QMS's a bad name or reputation leading businesses to not thoroughly understand it's importance or place in business.

As far as what I am doing here, well I am here to "talk" with others who share the same "passion" for QMS's. Even though I beleive the Standard to be straight forward and self explanatory, I am still very open to learning from everyone else's experience and find these BB's great fun.


I agree that some of the horror stories involving consultants tend to taint the profession. There are lots of reputable consultants out there, but, one has to do their homework. Check out references, etc.. With 30+ years in the Quality arena, starting as an Inspector, working under Mil-Q-9858 and Mil-I 45208, the ISO Standard is somewhat confusing. The old specifications told you what and, basically, how to do it. This standard wants you to create a system that may or may not meet certain criteria. For me personally, I want a consultant who has successfully assisted other companies in the certification process. I have retained one with a proven track record. (Note:You are too far away..$$$). The peace of mind that this provides me is invaluable and I would vigorously oppose Senior Mgt. should they pull the plug and decide it’s a one man show. I’m too close to the people I work with to get the response that an “outsider” can and will demand to get this show on the road. If others decide that they can do it on their own, God Bless. Dollar to a doughnut it won’t be as quick and usually gets dropped due to lack of interest. When you are paying for a service, it changes everyone’s perspective, especially Management’s. After all, it’s their dollars.
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